Catalogue description Records of the Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer

Details of Division within E
Reference: Division within E
Title: Records of the Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer

The records of the Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer, similar to those of the King's Remembrancer, but on a much smaller and less diverse scale. They include some records of the Pipe Office.

There are memoranda rolls in E 368, originalia rolls in E 371, writ files in E 383, and extents of lands forfeit to the Crown in E 387. Bills of proffers for the appearance of accountants are in E 375, and writs of summons of the green wax in E 382. Other writs of Exchequer process are in E 384 - E 386. There are commissions to take oaths in E 353. Fee books are in E 388. Miscellaneous books are in E 369, miscellaneous rolls in E 370, and a very substantial collection of miscellanea in E 389

Date: c1184-1851
Related material:

See also records of the Commissioners for Auditing Public Accounts: AO

Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English

Exchequer, Lord Treasurers Remembrancer, 1170-1833

Physical description: 14 series
Custodial history: Records of the Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer were scattered over various repositories at Westminster, at the Inns of Court, and in the City. The office moved to combined premises in 1793 at Somerset House with the Pipe Office. Many records moved there into the damp attics in 1800. On the abolition of both offices in 1833 the records became the responsibility of the King's Remembrancer, whose other records were stored at Carlton Ride and to where the records had moved by 1858.
Publication note:

On the early history of the remembrancers, see D Crook, 'The early remembrancers of the Exchequer', Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research LIII (1980), pp 11-23

Administrative / biographical background:

The Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer, like the King's Remembrancer, was an office which developed from the twelfth-century team of clerks assisting the Treasurer in the process of audit at the twice-yearly sessions of the Exchequer. Both Remembrancers recorded and pursued debts and other matters outstanding from the process of audit in the Upper Exchequer, and in the early period their functions were very similar, almost to the point of duplication, most of their enrolments covering exactly the same material. By the end of Henry III's reign onwards, however, the Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer had begun to develop a particular concern for business arising from the ancient and traditional sources of Crown revenue, a specialism which was confirmed by the Exchequer ordinances of 1323. Nonetheless, except in areas of business which were specifically excluded from his purview, his record-keeping was superior to that of the King's Remembrancer; his enrolments were the originals from which the supposedly contemporaneous King's Remembrancer's enrolments were copied, and he maintained notes of further process in cases recorded on the rolls.

The Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer's primary business came to relate to regular and established revenues, customary and feudal renders, as distinct from taxation, customs, and occasional Crown income. The business thus included the review and pursuit of Crown debts in a complex assortment of circumstances. The Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer initiated and supervised proceedings arising from the routine accounts of sheriffs, escheators, and bailiffs (even though such accounts were in many cases in the custody of the King's Remembrancer), especially when the cases related to rents and other incomes from Crown lands (including the lands of recusants), or from the grants of liberties and franchises to corporations or individuals. He issued the 'summons of the green wax' demanding payment in respect of all new debts due on these accounts. He was also responsible for pursuing Crown debts arising from proceedings in other courts; extracts or 'estreats' of those proceedings, detailing fines, amercements, distraints, and forfeitures, were sent in by the relevant courts, and the Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer acted to enforce payment. The proceeds from Chancery proceedings, both judicial and administrative, were listed in separate enrolments for similar treatment.

From 1326 onwards there was a Clerk of the Estreats, subordinate to the Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer (although this came to be regarded as a semi-autonomous office related more closely to the Pipe Office); other support staff, including a deputy, secondaries, and sworn clerks were in time added to the office.

The office of Lord Treasurer's Remembrancer lost some of its importance with the abolition of feudal tenures in 1660 and the declining business from ancient franchises, and its close association with the Pipe Office led to the use of adjacent premises from 1793 and the abolition of both offices by the Fines Act 1833 c99. The audit of sheriffs' accounts was transferred to the Commissioners for Auditing Public Accounts; the collection of remaining rents from Crown lands, formerly part of the shrieval process, was transferred to the Commissioners of Woods, Forests, and Land Revenues; and any remaining duties were absorbed by the King's Remembrancer.

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